After their European adventure ended cruelly at the hands of Real Madrid in midweek, Manchester United will look to dust themselves off and come again as they entertain Chelsea.
Ahead on the night and in the tie, winger Nani was controversially shown a straight red for a high boot by referee Cuneyt Cakir. A man to the good, Real rallied and scored twice to knock the current Premier League leaders out of the competition.
Chelsea will be hoping to capitalise on United’s misfortune by beating their opponents in a competition the Blues won last season. Victory would also help relieve some of the pressure currently piled on interim manager Rafael Benitez as he struggles to win over fans and individuals at the club.
Benitez’s decision on who to play up-front could be the difference in the game. With Fernando Torres floundering once again in front of goal, January acquisition Demba Ba could provide the edge ahead of a creative Chelsea midfield.
United will again be looking to Dutch maestro Robin Van Persie to be the driving force in attack, and with rumours of a potential departure for England international Wayne Rooney circulating, Van Persie’s finishing ability will be heavily relied upon.
The past few ties between the two sides has provided end-to-end entertainment and numerous goals, and looking at the potential line-ups it would be hard to suggest anything different for this game.
The tie will temporarily distract United from their midweek woe, but defeat to the Stamford Bridge outfit would heap more misery on Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
KICK OFF: Sunday, 4.30pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
Chelsea 5 (Luiz, Cahill, Hazard, Sturridge, Ramires) Manchester United 4 (Giggs 2, Hernandez, Nani), Capital One Cup AET, October 2012
Chelsea 2 (Mata, Ramires) Manchester United 3 (Luiz og, Van Persie, Hernandez), Premier League, October 2012
Chelsea 3 (Evans og, Mata, Luiz) Manchester United 3 (Rooney 2, Hernandez), Premier League, February 2012
Mexican striker Javier Hernandez has scored in his last three games against Chelsea. The poacher will be hoping to make that four in four to send his side through
The last three encounters from these sides have drawn 20 goals
Chelsea have appeared in four of the last six Wembley finals, winning every one of them. Victory over United will set them on their way once again.
Manchester United are the most successful team in FA Cup history. The Old Trafford outfit have lifted the trophy eleven times in the history of the competition.
Manchester United: 1.85
TV: Live on ITV1 at 4.30pm and highlights on ITV1 at 10.15pm
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